State polling miscellany

Privately conducted polling in Victoria and Western Australia offers further evidence of rising support for One Nation.

Polling news to report from three states, some of it fresher than others. We start with Western Australia, which is gearing up for an election on March 11:

• The West Australian reported a fortnight ago that a poll conducted for Labor by Campaign Capital showed a two-party swing to Labor of 10% across the Liberal-held marginals of Balcatta, Belmont, Bicton, Forrestfield, Morley, Mount Lawley, Perth and Swan Hills. This is broadly consistent with statewide polling showing Labor leading 52-48. The West’s report cites primary votes of 37.7% for Labor, compared with 36.8% across the seats in question in 2013; 34.2% for the Liberals, compared with 50.2% in 2013; 6.3% for the Greens, compared with 8.9%; and 10% for One Nation. The poll also found an even split between One Nation supporters as to which major party they planned to preference. No field work dates are provided, but the combined sample was 876.

• The West Australian reported last Friday that an Utting Research poll had Nationals leader Brendon Grylls’ primary vote in his seat of Pilbara slumping from 39% in 2013 to 18%, leaving him in third place behind Labor on 30% and Liberal on 26%, with One Nation on 16%. However, the sample for the poll was small, having variously been reported as 300 and 400. It was conducted for the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, which has been running an intensive advertising campaign attacking the Nationals policy of increasing iron ore production rental fees for Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton from 25 cents to $5 per tonne.

From Victoria:

• The Age has a ReachTEL poll of state voting intention in Victoria which, if I understand the article correctly, was conducted for the Australian Conservation Foundation and Wilderness Society. The headline-grabber is a 9.4% level of support for One Nation, which compares with a previous best Victorian result for the party of 3.6% at the 1998 federal election. On the primary vote, Labor’s 33.5% compares with a 2014 election result of 38.1%; the Coalition parties are on 36.2%, compared with 42.0%; and the Greens are at 8.8%, down from 11.5%. No two-party result is provided, but the results imply a very close result, with everything depending on One Nation preferences. The poll was conducted last Wednesday from a sample of 1649.

• The Age’s ReachTEL report also relates further results from the pollster of inner-city state seats, in this case conducted for the Australian Conservation Foundation and Wilderness Society. Going off 2014 preference flows, the primary vote numbers indicate Labor leads 55-45 in Brunswick and 52-48 in Richmond, but with Northcote lineball.

From Tasmania:

• It’s a month old now, but there was a Tasmanian state poll by ReachTEL for the Mercury which I neglected to mention at the time. The results were Liberal 45.5%, Labor 30.9% and Greens 15.1%, compared with 2014 election results of Liberal 51.2%, Labor 27.3% and Greens 13.8%. The poll was conducted on November 10 from a sample of 2934. The Mercury’s report features breakdowns by electorate, and by Kevin Bonham’s reckoning, they suggest it would be touch and go as to whether the Liberals would make it to a thirteenth seat in the chamber of twenty-five, with Labor on ten and the Greens on either two or three. Below is a bias-adjusted aggregate of EMRS, ReachTEL and Morgan polling since the last election. There isn’t a huge number of data points, but the results seem to suggest the Liberals suffered some collateral damage from a poor federal election result in mid-year, but are now recovering.


Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

8 comments on “State polling miscellany”

  1. I struggle to see this polls as a true representative of these states but if this did come out in the ballot box, you would effectively have ON preferences deciding VIC and WA and maybe even be needed to form a minority government in QLD – ekkkk

  2. the polling numbers for One Nation in WA seem fairly consistant with what I am hearing from labor people, apparently they are polling around 20% in some of the outer suburb seats.

  3. My current Tassie aggregate has values of Liberal 43.6 Labor 33.7 Green 13.2 Other 9.5 which looks rather similar to William’s. My best attempt at benchmarking is to benchmark EMRS off past elections, ReachTEL off both state and federal elections and Morgan off interpolated and adjusted EMRS. Also I don’t weight the most recent polls all that heavily because to be frank I don’t trust any poll here to go carrying a 50+% weight in the aggregate no matter what its sample size. The Morgans I weight at a few percent each when they come out.

    EMRS were in the field in November, who knows when they’ll release it.

  4. The Labor Party is challenging the recent South Australian redistribution in the Supreme Court, saying that because the number of voters in various seats are out of kilter it breaches the principle of one vote, one value.

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